23rd May 2016

The people behind our water projects

To date, we’ve brought clean drinking water to over 1,600 villages. Our projects aim to bring water to people’s doorsteps and to educate them on how to improve sanitation. In this way, the projects have a positive impact on the health and livelihoods of Gurkha communities.

A team made up of staff and community members are currently working hard to install a new water system in Ghalekharka village in Kaski, central Nepal. The area includes around 30 homes housing 200 people and encompasses a school and community centre.

The village’s old public tap was installed over 20 years ago and used the local stream as its source. Over the years, the quality of the drinking water had deteriorated, risking the health of those who used it.

Recently villagers discovered a new water source while grazing their livestock in this forest. They requested our support and we approved a project for construction, with the help of the local community. Work began on 24 April 2016.

Project Supervisor

GWT staff member Prembahadur Kauchha is a Project Supervisor. He comes from Rupandehi District and studied at Butwal Technical Institute.

Prem has worked with us for around 7 months – Ghalekharka Village is his second project.

Prem explains the technical aspects of the project:

“Our Social Staff have measured and confirmed the adequacy of the source. The design allows for a minimum of 45 litres per person per day.”

Each house has a separate tap connected to the mains which are metered.

“With public taps people wouldn’t care too much if they were left on and water was going to waste. This way the community also get some revenue for its maintenance fund”

Assistant sponsor

Buddhibahadur Gurung was instrumental in the application for the new water project.

Having served with the Gurkhas from 1966 to 1991 he retired back to the village and spends his days farming and undertaking voluntary work.

Buddhi explains the village’s current predicament:

“We have a water supply provided by the Government, but it is getting old now. It’s about 20 to 25 years old.

“[Currently] the water is just not fit to drink. Plus the source kept getting washed away by the rains every monsoon, and if it didn’t get washed away, it got contaminated by sediment and dirt.

“We are very grateful to The Gurkha Welfare Trust for having granted us this new project. We are applying all of our resources and effort to this project so that we will be able to drink clean water for a change.”

Water Supply Management Committee member

Tilkumari Tamang lives in the village with her daughter and two sons.

As a member of the Water Supply and Management Committee, she regularly works on the project.

“At the moment I’m carrying stones for our water project in my “doko”.

It used to take us 20 minutes to carry the stones, but as the quarry is quite close here, I’ve already done 10 trips. The quarry is only 5 minutes away.

“Until now, the water has been getting contaminated during the monsoon. Because the source is a stream, we would get frogs and other water creatures in our drinking water!

“To all our benefactors and to GWT, we send our heartfelt thanks and respectfully request that their aid also be made available to other unfortunate villages like us.”

Chair, Village Mothers’ Group

Laxmi Tamang is also a resident of the village. Although not a member of the water committee she is the Chairperson of the village’s Mothers’ Group, which is getting involved in the building process.

”At the moment our work is mainly weeding the maize crop and of course digging the trenches for the pipeline for our water project.

“This project is a lot better than the ones we’ve had in the past. It looks like it’s going to last a lot longer and appears to be much more sturdy and robust.

“It is hard physically coping with both our farming and the project work, but we’re up to it mentally.”

Head Mason

Samansing Gurung works for The Gurkha Welfare Trust as a mason. A skilled labourer, he’s been working on projects like this since 1994.

“(Behind me) is a reservoir tank or RT. The purpose of an RT is to distribute the water to the village. The 3 pipes are outlets. The pipe nearest to us is the washout and the top bit is the air vent.

“It’s been 3 days since we concreted the base of the tank. We should be able to complete the tank within 2 weeks now.

“I have 2 CMWs (Community Maintenance Workers) helping me who will look after the maintenance once we leave. In the old days, we used to be away from home (on project work) for 6 months at a time, but these days we’re on site for up to 3 months. I speak to my wife on the phone when I’m away from home on projects.”

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